NFL San Francisco 49ers

5 Players Who Mean the Most to a San Francisco 49ers’ Playoff Run

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5 Players Who Mean the Most to a San Francisco 49ers’ Playoff Run

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are getting hot at the right time again. They are winners of four straight and are the hottest team in the NFC. It's easy to see why with the defense playing lights out football right now.

They are stingy on that side of the ball and don't allow any easy plays. The offense is also clicking at the right time. Jim Harbaugh is also one of the brightest young football minds in the game and took this team deep into the postseason just last year

This team relies on a hard-hitting, stingy defense just like last year's version of the Niners. They have an athletic quarterback coming into his own and ready to blossom on the biggest stage the NFL has to offer once again.

The division rival Seattle Seahawks may present the biggest challenge to the Niners representing the NFC once again in the big game this season, but they have the leg up in the experience department. Even though Seattle is likely to have home-field advantage with their raucous crowd it is certainly possible for the 49ers to get back to playing for the Lombardi this year.

As we have seen with the beauty of the postseason, however, anything is possible. The 49ers will certainly be highly motivated as they were literally a few yards away from winning a world championship last year.

Revenge and the hunger for a Super Bowl title will certainly be on the 49ers' minds which could give them a decided edge. Having said all of that let's take a look at five players who will mean the most to a run in the playoffs this season.

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5. Frank Gore

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Gore has been a beast yet again by running between the tackles and using his power or outrunning defenders. He is as complete a back as there is in football. The 49ers will need to ride him if they want a repeat trip to the Super Bowl.

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4. Anquan Boldin

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Anquan Boldin has been a beast for the 49ers. He is Colin Kaepernick's go-to target on third down and has been huge as a possession target. Much like with the Ravens last season Boldin will be relied upon to make clutch catches that will determine how far the Niners go in January.

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3. Vernon Davis

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Vernon Davis may be the biggest physical mismatch in the league. He is a monster 6-foot-3 250-pound tight end but runs a 4.3. He is Colin Kaepernick's security blanket whenever he is in a bind. Davis will need to be a deep threat and red zone mismatch in the playoffs for the 49ers to make another playoff run.

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2. Colin Kaepernick

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Colin Kaepernick is having another solid season for the 49ers. He is a devastating dual-threat quarterback that can beat people with his arm and his blinding speed. Clearly, Kaepernick will need another huge January for this team to repeat.

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1. Patrick Willis

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Willis is a beast in the middle of the 49ers defense. He is the captain and leader of the defense that makes plays all over the field. You can count on Willis to show up when it counts. If this defense continues to improve and Colin Kaepernick has another monster postseason it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see this team representing the NFC in the Super Bowl again.